When last we blogged about Air Cancer Flight 102, we were dealing with scheduling problems. The Gemzar proposed by Wonder Doc during January for our new chemo regimen wasn’t being exactly cooperative.
Thankfully, my proposed two weeks on chemo/one week off chemo schedule now is in place. My white blood cells, neutrophils, platelets, and other little blood count goodies are behaving themselves and returning to within acceptable limits when they’re supposed to, so we’re now into our third cycle of two on/one off 🙂 Yaaaay! We really, really didn’t want to switch to yet another chemo drug and we didn’t particularly like the one that Wonder Doc was proposing.
Chemo, itself, has been relatively uneventful over these past several weeks. The day of chemo, I should specify. It helps that we now guzzle gallons of water, thereby keeping our veins ready to pop up and cooperate with our chemo nurses. No more multiple needle sticks for us, thank you very much! A chemo pal had to undergo eight (ouch!) sticks last week before the nurses were successful in getting a needle into her vein. She’s joined my Drink Lotsa Water Club!
The week “off” is another subject, entirely. One would think that the week “off” would be easy. No blood draws, no chemo, piece of cake! N O T!! My first week “off” brought with it some raging arguments, beginning each evening around 8 PM, between our Alien* and our nasty inguinal lymph node.
We’d been perking along with Perkocet for pain over the past few months. It usually was needed only in the evenings — we remained relatively pain free during daytime hours — and usually one or two doses were all it took. Some days, we were totally Perkocet free.
Well, boy golly, did that ever change during the first week “off.” The nightly arguments got worse and worse and we found ourselves, often, looking at the clock and begging it to shift over to the next time we could take some Perkocet.
It’s difficult to describe a fight between an Alien and an inguinal node. Let’s just say that they were taking turns being painful and when one stopped the other would start. We were sorely tempted one evening to call Wonder Doc but, honestly, didn’t feel up to dealing with the answering service and didn’t really want to wake the poor man up. So, at our next office visit he got a bit of an earful 😉
The next week “off” — the week before this past week — was just downright horrible. We felt like
shit excrement all week and were unable to participate in several planned activities, including our local writers’ crit group. Those who know me know full well that it takes a LOT for me to give up one of those meetings!
So, this past week we had a moment of True Confessions when we had our audience with Wonder Doc and we begged him to do something about this turbulence! We confessed to: (a) taking Perkocet practically around the clock for several days; (b) once again being tempted to call him in the middle of the night; and (c) looking through our kitchen drawers to figure out which knife or other implement would be easiest to use in performing a little self-surgery to remove the offensive Alien and his counterpart.
I think that it was possibly item (c) that most caught Wonder Doc’s attention. Whatever it was, he took pity on me and decided to start me on 24/7 pain relief (one pill every twelve hours) with something called MS Contin and Perkocet only as needed. Contrary to my usual nosiness, I didn’t even ask him about the ingredients in MS Contin. Just figured it was some sort of offshoot of Oxycontin.
A Google search later and, lo and behold, we’re now on <gulp!> morphine sulfate. Geeze Louise. I guess we’ll just have to add my name to the long list of writers before me who were under the influence of various opiates. I must say, it’s a rather esteemed little group, but I’d much rather have gotten on the list through my writing and not through prescription medication!
The good news is that the stuff seems to be working. And there appear to be some changes in the inguinal node’s size. (We hope we’re not just hallucinating!) So, keep your fingers crossed that it and our lovely Gemzar do the trick. Oh, and by the way, if we do seem a bit woozy when you talk with us, now you know why 😉
*Alien: a euphemism for the lovely tumor that is excavating its way out of my abdominal cavity through my umbilicus.